For her resort 2015 collection, Cynthia Rowley united function and fashion.
The designer shot her resort collection at a gym in New York City. "We literally looked at every single gym in the city because we wanted a really polished, graphic, and simple gym," Rowley tells InStyle.com. The location is in tune with the designer's resort collection.
"I really started with this idea that if it's resort, you’re going to be traveling and you need to be comfortable," she says. The collection is a mix of fitness wear and pieces with glam elements, like feathers and brocade. The idea to make fitness wear a bit more stylish came from Rowley's everyday observations. "Any day of the week, all I see is people wearing sneakers and fitness gear. And they may or not may not even make it to the gym, but they are all wearing the same uniform—it's a functional way of dressing, you can't beat it. But design-wise, does it have to look like fitness wear? No."
Rowley included a set of sporty, surf-inspired rash guards in her resort collection, too. And the idea came about naturally. "I was really thinking and looking around in the same way that I always do. I use a wetsuit myself and I thought 'you know, why do I have to wear this plain black wetsuit? Why hasn't anyone designed this object?'"
When asked of the core pieces of the collection, Rowley said it best herself: "You can get it wet, or you can put it with a feather skirt."
Find out how Rowley got ready for the shoot (she first took her little ones to school!), details on the hair and makeup looks, and about a little hiccup that was thankfully resolved (hint: there was a shoe crisis). Head behind the scenes in our gallery of exclusive photos and tidbits.
1. Adding the finishing touches
“Sometimes things don’t look exactly right until you play with it,” Rowley tells us. “I like to do last minute things. And I always do.“
2. The Collection
“The collection is a mix of rash guards, swim wear, surf wear, and fitness wear. It's about layering them with these really special, pearl embroidered pieces. Some of them are brocade and there are things that are a bit more special. But it’s about mixing them with, like, a T-shirt with a racing stripe. There are a lot of feathers, too, because I feel like they're really fun and playful.”
3. Sporty Sneaks
"For these, I imagined someone traveling and wearing them on the plane. And up until this morning, we only had one left shoe to all the sneakers-no right shoe. If we only had one-legged models, it would’ve been great. But we were freaking out.”
4. Combing Through the Collection
“There are all these pieces that you could just throw on and go out for the day and have the same feeling that you have when you’re in your gray leggings, a T-shirt, and sneakers. It’s the same idea but they also give you the option to put it on with heels and go out.”
5. Athletic & Chic Wrist Wear
“We made these fun wrist weights. It’s meant to be sort of like jewelry but when you put them on you get a little bit of a workout too. They're supposed to be in your everyday life: when you’re working, you’re on your phone, so now every time you pick up your phone you’ll get a little work out.”
6. The Location
“For the shoot, we wanted a really polished, graphic, and simple gym. We looked everywhere and my husband has this theory: he always tells me, if you’re looking for something, you ask everyone you see, everyone you meet, everyone you know. So I asked a friend of mine and he was like ‘Oh, yeah, there’s a gym downtown. I hear it’s beautiful.’ Boom, here we are. And that was just last week.“
7. Sparkling Shoes To Juxtapose That Sporty Feel
“The collection is actually fully functioning fitness wear if you want it to be, or you can totally wear it with heels. So that's what we styled it with-you can pair it with real trainers or jeweled heels so that you see that versatility.”
“Within this resort collection, there’s a little capsule collection of true fitness and active wear. We used some of the materials, the bonding, and things that we have sort of become known for and we took it a step further.”
9. Hair and Makeup
"If you go too far on either hair or makeup, to me, it looks crazy. You want it to look a bit editorial, have a point of direction, and a polish to it but I feel like it can go really wrong if you do too much. I always try to find that balance between what people aspire to and what they can relate to. The hair is pulled back and clean. And the makeup is clean too but really dewy and kind of a little pinkish but not too pink. Can you imagine if you really could really look like that at the gym??
10. Flexing and Feeling Great
“I never sleep well before a big shoot, show, or presentation. I’m a little bit tired but I try to stay as normal as possible-make breakfast, bring my kids to school. And then it’s exciting. Everyone is excited to get started and then see the results.“
11. The Final Product
“I love the pants and I’m very much into flares. I’m psyched to wear all of these racing stripes, too. And then all the feathers. It looks cool.”